Natural Homemade Hair Dye

A homemade hair dye is often far less harmful than shop bought products. In fact, if you use the correct recipe it can actualy help condition and strengthen your hair!

There are two ways to color hair, naturally or chemically.

A chemical coloring works by opening the outer covering of the hair (the cuticle) in order to penetrate it.

This can damage the cuticle leaving your hair very dry and brittle; where as a natural colorant can actually help condition and strengthen the hair.

Making Your Own Hair Dye

Henna is probably one of the strongest and most common herbs to use as a homemade hair dye. The finished color will often depend on where the henna has been produced.

Egyptian and Moroccan henna has a slight orange tint to it, ware as Iranian henna tends to give more of a reddish tint ( although when henna is mixed up it has a greenish colour).


Everyone’s hair reacts slightly different when exposed to a colorant, so before you start putting a colorant over your entire hair I would recommend doing a strand test first.

Make up a tiny amount of the homemade hair dye and try it on a small discreet strand of hair, leave it for around 30 minutes before washing out. If it’s too bright for your liking, leave it on a bit longer, to dark, a little shorter.

Natural Colors

Good Ingredients to add to henna for color and shine are:

  • Chamomile or rhubarb root for light hair
  • Coffee for a dull red
  • Indigo for very dark hair
  • Red wine for a rich auburn colour

Ingredients Needed:

  • 6 tablespoons powdered henna
  • 1 tablespoon of either the powdered herbs, ground coffee beans or Indigo(see natural colors above)
  • 6 1/2 fl oz (200ml) boiling water – or half water half red wine for the Auburn (see natural colors above)
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar – 1/2 teaspoon if using half water half wine for Auburn
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (normal to dry hair)

Equipment Needed:

  • Large bowl
  • Old towels
  • Newspaper
  • Hair clips
  • Plastic gloves
  • Plastic wrap or plastic hat


  1. Combine all the dry ingredients with the boiling water and wine if you’re using it. Stir in the cider vinegar and leave the paste to cool a little, until it’s just warm enough to handle.
  2. Wrap one of the old towels around your neck and shoulders and either wear an apron or place another old towel over your lap.
  3. Rub the oil into your hair and then divide your hair into sections using clips, this will make it much easier to handle.
  4. Wearing the plastic gloves and starting at the centre of your head, coat each section with the henna paste working from the roots to the ends. Once a section has been well coated with the paste pile it out of the way on the top of your head.
  5. After your hair has been totally coated with the henna treatment, wrap your head fairly tightly with plastic wrap and leave for the required time. This is usually between 20 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the strand test you did, but basically the longer you leave it the deeper the colour.
  6. Rinse the natural homemade hair dye out of your hair until the water begins to run clear, then shampoo and condition as you normally would.

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